Review “In a New York Minute”: Love or Freedom?

Promising first-time filmmaker Ximan Li embraces the twists and turns of immigrant experiences in the drama “In a New York Minute.” Bas...


Promising first-time filmmaker Ximan Li embraces the twists and turns of immigrant experiences in the drama “In a New York Minute.” Based on a short story by Yi Nan that Li adapted, the director weaves together the epic of three women living in New York. If their situations are very different, the malaises which gnaw at them overlap. Intersecting visual clues and an errant home pregnancy test connect the women in intriguing, even sometimes forced ways.

Food writer Amy Chen (Amy Chang) continues to suffer a backlash over meals a year after a breakup. Her colleague Peter (Jae Shin) feeds her and her mother (Cheng Pei Pei) nags her about marriage. A blink-and-you-might-miss-it mention of Amy’s former “roommate” seems a little coy for this era, but may also explain why the foodie story seems undercooked.

Actress Angel Li (Yi Liu) can’t catch a break, even though the career of the writer (Ludi Lin) with whom she’s having an affair is booming. Nina (a charismatic Celia Au) returns from her nightly gig at a karaoke lounge — where patrons retreat to private rooms for singing and more transactional pleasures — with designer bags and cash. She hides them in her room above the family restaurant in a move towards independence. At the same time, a food truck cook (Roger Yeh) woos Nina with a sweet lucidity that bewilders her.

One character sums up the film’s underlying dilemma: “Which would you choose, love or freedom?” Time will tell if this is the right question, or one based on a faulty premise.

In a New York minute
Unclassified. In English and Chinese, with subtitles. Duration: 1h42. Rent or buy on AppleTV, Amazon and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Review “In a New York Minute”: Love or Freedom?
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